Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 1 of Isolation (Radioactive Iodine Ablation in Photos)

The night before the RAI. It's finally here. I look tired (exhausted really) but I'm up for anything including finding out when I opened my mail at 10:30pm to find my driver's license was suspended. (I sent my ticket payment last week which I didn't know about since they sent the warning notice to my parents' house. The deadline had passed by the time I got it. Grrrr! I will have to fight that one after isolation. It would be too late to notify the hospital to arrange to do my isolation there.)

Breakfast of champions! I drink my four food groups (kale, banana, mixed berries, rice milk, flax seeds, oats, almond butter).

Kitty cats have thyroids too. That's why they're in isolation in the music room. Marcus seems a little shocked.

Makeda does not seem to mind.

Somehow I get to the hospital. This sign greets me at the Nuclear Medicine department.

Am I in the right place? The staff seem to think so.

I love getting presents especially when they are packaged in metal lead containers. All this trouble for me...

Did I read that correctly?

No, that wasn't a misprint.

My specialist, Endo #4, comes in, puts on a lead vest, and starts to unpack the contents of the container. He doesn't seem so serious today. In fact, he is smiling and his face is rosy. (Maybe he's happy about the long weekend.) I tell him that I have a blog and ask if I could take a photo of the pill. He looks at me with raised eyebrows. I guess that's a no. "It's a time sensitive thing, isn't it?" I ask. He nods.

The pill was a white capsule in a little container. (I was a little disappointed. It wasn't glowing green or anything. Just a regular inconspicuous pill.) I turn the container upside down into my mouth and swallowed the pill. The little container was packed with a lead weight on top and foam on the sides inside of that metal in the second insulated metal box that you see (with wheels). I'm officially radioactive!!!

After a long wait, I'm escorted out by hospital staff and then a security guard takes me to my reserved elevator. He says to hold the close button. I hold the close button all the way down to the ground floor. There are two security guards there trying to hold back a crowd of people. I'm supposed to avoid people especially children and pregnant women and I can't see a path to walk. "Where do I walk?" I ask. "Just go through," one guard says. I beeline for the hospital exit. I open the door and see a couple coming in at the other end. I look down at the woman's stomach. She's pregnant. (They did not plan this out very well.) I back away as the couple goes through.

I'm a danger to the public. I'm Radioactive girl!

I drive myself home. (There was no other option. Too radioactive to cab it or take the bus. My dad was concerned about radioactive exposure so he couldn't drive me. My fiance couldn't drive me since my sports car would have us sitting together for too long. So I had to drive my hypo radioactive suspended-license self. I whisper a prayer and drive home.)

My last sight of my fiance.

He told me on the phone that Makeda, our brilliant orange cat, escaped isolation twice so he figured out a plan to get her to stay inside the music room.

That should keep her.

And this one should keep me.


HappyFace said...

Your blog is funny. I had my radioactive today and yes, i was also surprised the pill was not glowing! I had two residents, a physicist and an attending next to me. After I took the pill, boom, their gone in a smoke. Too bad no one escorted me out to the loby..I tried to take the elevator but people were always in it, so i opted for the stairs, then quickly took the long way to go around the hospital where i wouldn't meet people :( So much for radioactive iodine. Hope you didn't get too much side effects. I'm a bit worried about that.

Carol H said...

I know some of these posts are old, but they are soooo helpful. Thank you for taking the time to blog about your experiences. I too am a thyroid cancer survivor and like you, I have had recurrences. I'm going through one right now! Just when I thought everything was going hit me for a 3rd time.

I'm off of my synthroid for 6 weeks. Then I have to be isolated in a hospital 4 hours away from my children and husband for 4 to 7 days. BOOOO! I actually came to your blog after searching for symptoms of being off of the synthroid/levothroid. I should know very well right? But that late night worry sets in and I just wonder if it's normal to have those symptoms...mostly extremely tired and sluggish all day. I hate it so much...I just want to go take a synthroid for a day or two haha! I'm on the cytomel twice a day but that so short's just not the same.

So anyway, just wanted to say that I love your blog and please keep it up! Send some happy thoughts my way when you can! :o)